THE MAP IN PLACE + A story I would tell any young person in your life.
And now for some words of wisdom from Bonnie Kate!
I thought it would be appropriate to write a semi-serious blog this time, because normally I’m all “rainbowmagicflyingtrout”! But I do actually take life seriously. I went through my list of backer blog requests and rediscovered Darien, who’d asked I give some words of encouragement to daughter Maya, who is very interested in fashion design.
I actually wanted to be a fashion designer when I was about 14. I went to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for two summers to study fashion (both design and illustration as well as fashion construction, photography, and life drawing). There, I had an absolute blast. Fashion is fun! It’s full of colors and patterns and enthusiastic people. I designed collections and constructed garments.
Mostly, I loved drawing clothing and people. Sewing, I wasn’t so hot on, but I knew I needed to sew to be a fashion designer. So I kept at it because that was my goal, and I was never going to give up on something I loved. I’d started taking art classes at my high school and was experimenting with media.
Around the same time, I’d discovered collage art and computer art. I LOVED making icons and avatars out of photographs like such:
Earlier on, my parents had told me that it was kind of a waste of time. Now don’t get me wrong. I have very supportive parents (who read this blog) but I would spend hours in front of the computer. I didn’t go outside. Not unless I had to go sailing for P.E. However, the more I experimented with this genre of art, the less I thought about being a fashion designer. I started making collages with real materials like such:
I began painting and drawing and creating digital work; soon the days of being a fashion designer were over. I’d realized my passion wasn’t for the pretty models (while I still love drawing gorgeous ladies more than most things) or for creating fantastic dresses (even though I’d love to design my own clothes) it was for telling stories though art and design. I loved creating something that told the viewer a little bit about someone’s life. Maybe that’s why I love theater? Maybe that’s why I tell my campers stories while we knit. (Yes, I do teach knitting in the summers.) I love to talk (as anyone who’s met me will say) and I love to tell stories, which is why I’ve settled (at the moment at least) on illustration. Illustration is about communicating a story, in my opinion, and I love all the forms of illustration beyond anything else. More than fashion. More than graphic design. More than knitting, even.
If I hadn’t done fashion, and graphic design, and even digital collages of celebrities, I wouldn’t have found illustration and I would probably be working towards my other job interest: law. Seriously, I would love to be a lawyer. If I hadn’t found art, I’d be prosecuting. But luckily for criminals everywhere, I found art, even if it took a while to get here.
So Maya, you’re probably wondering what that exactly has to do with being a fashion designer; I didn’t end up in fashion design. It’s about doing what you love and what makes you happy and allowing the things that make you passionate to push you onward into new things. Fashion is an absolute blast and give it everything you’ve got for as long as that makes you happy. If, as you’re fashioning, you realize that ‘hey, I really love the patterns most of all’, you may discover surface design. Maybe you really enjoy designing accessories and you start becoming the next Jimmy Choo (very cute, very expensive shoes and you could so go there).
Be enthusiastic. Be brave. Allow yourself to flow from one medium to another while you’re young and exploring life.
But most importantly, be happy.